Tag: Twilight

Stage 3 Week 2 Postgame: Titans vs. Spark

If you didn’t watch, you might see the 3-1 scoreline and think the Titans were their usual dominant selves against Hanzhou. You would be mistaken.

Of all the games Vancouver has won, this was easily the closest to disaster. The Titans spent the entire match playing on a knife’s edge, and the Catholic church is currently looking into canonizing all six members of the team after they demonstrated an ability to work miracles. To be perfectly honest, I think the Titans deserved to lose this match 3-1 instead of winning it.

Map 1: Oasis

This was the one map the Titans easily deserved to win. On Gardens, their superior pressure earned them easy fight victories up to 97% control. The Spark dug deep and invested every single ultimate they had in order to retake, which was successful, but the Titans lost the battle to win the war. They returned with a stockpile of ultimates, Bumper’s shatter pin onto Adora was the opening pick, and the final fight was easily won.

On University, Bumper’s attempts to put on pressure was punished by Bebe, who got a discord onto him and then found a brief window of dropped shield to take him out with a right click. Hangzhou took the point first, but in the next fight Guxue’s shield was blasted down by the Titans, who seized the advantage to secure the wipe and flip the point. Once again, easy fight victories built to a final overtime fight, in which Slime twice removed Guxue by dropping him into the center point. When Seominsoo locked the Spark in a grav, Ria tried to defensively self-destruct, but accidentally dropped that in the hole as well—and since this isn’t golf, that was an awful thing for his team. Totally unthreatened by the misplaced bomb, Vancouver wiped everyone in the grav, then everyone outside, taking the first map handily.

Titans 1 : Spark 0

Map 2: Horizon Lunar Colony

Vancouver were first to attack, and went for their Sombra look, with Seominsoo on the hacker and Jjanu flexing onto Zarya. It… didn’t go well. EMP took more than 2 minutes to build, and didn’t even ge to to be used because Adora bashed Seominsoo out of it. Bumper hit a heroic shatter to save the day, but that wasn’t encouraging for the efficacy of the plan. On point B, Seominsoo took too long to find an opening, then when it was finally used only a single enemy was hacked. It was Bumper, again, who came up clutch for his team, securing the second point on the back of another tremendous shatter. Seominsoo had spent about 6 minutes playing Sombra, and only hit a single target across 2 uses of EMP—not good stats.

Vancouver tried for the same composition on defense, of which I am not a fan because of how easily the enemy can snowball you. The first fight was effective, but the second was a clown fiesta. Bumper died on a charge, then Seominsoo’s EMP was used but got not value without a swinging Rein, then Jjanu’s grav got no value for the same reason. Hangzhou took A easily and ran onto B for the snowball. Ria tried to zone Vancouver off the point with a self-destruct, which worked out even better for him when it took out Jjanu. Then Seominsoo’s EMP at least hit most of the enemy, but two Titans were already down and IDK was waiting around the corner with a sound barrier, so in the end it accomplished nothing.

That put the Titans at a disadvantage in the timebank round, which they exacerbated by having Haksal die first. Then, despite entrenching themselves on point, both Slime and Haksal were taken out during a trans, and Seominsoo’s no good very bad day continued when his grav was eaten. In the final fight, Ria’s bomb took out two to seal the nail in the coffin. Even with Jjanu getting a 2k bomb of his own, it was a bridge too far, and they were stopped at about 47%. Against a 5 minute timebank, that was nigh impossible, and at least they didn’t play with our heartstrings by drawing it out overly long. Bumper died first, Seominsoo was next, the match was tied.

Titans 1 : Spark 1

Map 3: Numbani

Captain Planet (the OWL stats guy) apparently doesn’t believe in jinxing things, because before the map even started he flashed a stat on the screen. The Titans roster has not lost on Numbani since October 2, 2017, which in Overwatch terms is actually forever ago. After the first two minutes, it looked like that string of victories would easily continue: multiple won fights had given the titans a bank of 6 ultimates, putting them in position to potentially extend the hold for the full time. Instead, Guxue was able to charge Slime to death out of a graviton, and then swing away on Bumper. The Titans quickly stabilized, and once again with 2 minutes on the clock had a superior ult bank. But a clever rotation from Godsb and Adora took Haksal by surprise, stunning and deleting him to give Hangzhou the upper hand.

The Spark leveraged that advantage very, very, very slowly. Despite being a player up, they basically didn’t commit to a fight, instead wiggling around the payload in a bizarre game of musical chairs. Vancouver was never quite able to evict them, as they might well (in retrospect) have been able to, but the clock had been sent nearly to 0. When Vancouver won a fight in the tunnel with only 18 seconds remaining, Bumper pushed forward to find exit kills with his team. However, the Spark retreated brilliantly, and they had a secret weapon: Ria was hiding in the upstairs, ready to fly onto the cart and trigger overtime. Surprised that they had to go back, the Titans didn’t capitalize on Seominsoo’s grav and failed to kill a weakened Adora when they had a chance. Instead, he used rally, Guxue killed Bumper, and the Spark came within 2 meters of completing the map.

That was less good than one might have hoped, but the Titans have always excelled at attacking on this map. Their first push showed why: Guxue dropped in to swing and was melted before he knew what was going on, the rest of Hangzhou fell in quick succession, and the cart was on the move.

Not for long, though. Seominsoo pushed forward to try to get charge and/or kills, but was unceremoniously killed for overextending, which seemed innocuous but ended up being huge. A tremendous 5 minute timebank was whittled down to nearly nothing as, fight after fight, members of the Titans were dropped first.

It wasn’t anyone in particular: in order, they lost Seominsoo, Haksal, Seominsoo, Jjanu, and Bumper. It was just that Hangzhou focused their targets perfectly, while Vancouver seemed utterly disjointed. I particularly look at Seominsoo’s grav, used after Bumper had died and multiple other members of his team had been killed off the resultant shatter. Finally Vancouver took out Guxue, and to their credit they seized the opportunity with gusto, charging forward to eliminate the Spark. A lost fight on C brought the time down to 15 seconds, ensuring that any completion would be in overtime. But Seominsoo’s big grav was followed up on, and intelligent ult usage meant there was enough in the tank to emerge victorious from the scrap at the very end of the fight. That said, right until the end of the map, it absolutely felt like an incoming loss for the Titans, who were outplayed aside from the 3 fights they somehow managed to win the map with.

Titans 2 : Spark 1

Map 4: Havana

Attacking first, the Titans again tried out a Sombra composition, and again struggled to accomplish anything with it. Seominsoo at least built EMP faster, but didn’t catch Bebe with it, and Bumper was stunned out of shatter when he tried to extend the fight as trans ran out. After two minutes of abject failure, swaps came through to return to a 3/3, which did bring them to the end of A with about 30 seconds remaining. Matching self destructs devolved the fight into chaos, but the key was Seominsoo dying when Godsb did not. Without a Zarya, the Titans were far behind in damage output, and they succumbed with a meter remaining on the push for A.

From that position, winning seemed impossible. Hangzhou had only managed to hold because their forward defense had held for more than two minutes: the Titans couldn’t count on the Spark to be anywhere near as ineffectual as they themselves had been.

This time, it was 3/3 from the beginning. As usually happens, Vancouver held in an aggressive forward position, but only brought the clock down to 3:00 before the payload moved. Plus, the Spark WERE playing a Sombra composition. Even if the Titans hadn’t been able to find value, EMP is supposed to be a fight win button, and Hangzhou could probably get two of them, which would be two opportunities for a map win. The first one was used to wipe the whole team, but Twilight stayed out of range and contested the payload while everyone else was dying. He was staggered, but had bought crucial time for his team to get one last touch. Everyone streamed out of the doors, Seominsoo hit a big grav… and Bumper died. But Twilight, returning late, sniped Godsb, reversing the positions from the previous round. Seominsoo, still alive, put out so much damage that the Spark couldn’t engage well, and this close to the end of A, traded kills favored the Titans. Hangzhou had to retreat, but there was still a minute left and the second EMP was charged.

That’s when the biggest mistake of the map was made. Ria flanked around the side, ready to fly in with an EMP and seal the map. His teammates pressed forward, engaging the Titans in a 5v6 that would be inescapable when their movement abilities were rendered useless by the EMP.

But the EMP never came. Ria had, instead, accidentally translocated to a safe location far from the fight, leaving Adora to be killed and the rest of Hangzhou pushed back. When they returned, Seominsoo locked everyone up with a grav, and the EMP was used defensively. There is a reason that is not a normal sentence. The map-winning ult was wasted in that situation, and instead it was Vancouver who were able to secure opening kills onto Adora and IDK, winning the fight, map, and match in the process.


Titans 3 : Spark 1

Player of the Match

I started awarding Player of the Match because I wanted to highlight exemplary performances during the match. Sometimes, it’s for the player whose moment of heroism turned around a lost fight; sometimes it’s the player who was consistently good across the match; sometimes it’s the player whose ability to flex opened up a new and interesting composition.

Today, I’m adding a new rationale: the winner by default.

Twilight didn’t have a superstar game today, but he’s basically the only one who actually played well.

I don’t want to be mean here, but explaining this decision requires a bit of it. Seominsoo’s Sombra was just plain bad today, to the point that I seriously think the Titans deserved to lose this match because of it. Without a dva player, Bumper failed to moderate his playstyle, and aside from his earthshatters on Horizon that kept the map from being a complete humiliation, his impact on the game was mostly visible on the wrong side of the kill feed. Haksal has developed a bad case of “getting-picked-first-itis.” Jjanu and Slime were mostly silent. Twilight, today, felt a bit like the Jjonak of his team: the only good fights Vancouver ever had came when he managed to discord and kill a key target.

Titans vs. Spark Postgame

In my pregame, I alluded to the potential rivalry implications of a match against the Hangzhou Spark, thieves of the famed Runaway Pink color. That was kind of a joke, since it’s not as if the Hangzhou players had anything to do with the branding decision, and I made it because there didn’t seem to be any particular stakes to this matchup.

Boy was I wrong.

Apparently the Titans are still holding two grudges from their days as Runaway. First, Hangzhou took their pink, which was probably the strongest brand element from the entire pre-OWL time period. Second–and I was remiss in not pointing this out–Hangzhou Spark are basically the last team to beat the Titans.

See, all the way back in Contenders Season 1, Runaway were struggling to hit the same form as they had in APEX Season 4. That season was a Sombra-heavy meta, and Haksal never quite managed to look particularly comfortable. Runaway won their first playoff match, but in the semifinals they were matched against X6 Gaming, who clearly outclassed them and took the victory, 3-1, en route to winning the entire season. X6 Gaming, subsequently, had its coaching staff and much of its roster picked up by the Hangzhou Spark.

Officially, the Titans and Spark had never played: but for the Titans players, this was clearly a grudge match. The way they dismantled and disrespected their opponents was clearly a calculated statement, a way of dishing out revenge for a lingering affront. And now that I know how the Titans players feel, I can’t wait to see them face off against the GC Busan-successor London Spitfire.

Map 1: Oasis

The first surprise of the night was seeing Stitch in the lineup instead of Seominsoo. Yes, it was probably because Seominsoo has a broken thumb and is rehabbing it–but I choose to believe it’s because the Titans wanted to play the same exact roster that lost to X6 in Contenders Season 1. It’s more fun that way.

On City Center, we saw some DPS experimentation, with Hangzhou trying a triple DPS and Vancouver putting Stitch on a Soldier 76. Hangzhou got the first cap, but weren’t able to execute an EMP and instead Stitch was able to use a NanoVisor to flip the point back. The Spark then botched the next fight even harder, using the EMP and a slew of other ults for no benefit whatsoever, and the Titans got to sit comfortably in the driver’s seat and finish the map.

On University, Vancouver tried a 3/3 but found themselves countered by Hangzhou’s triple DPS–or at least, one part of it. Sasin was unremarkable as usual on Pharah, and GodsB was abysmal on Sombra, but Adora on Tracer was able to get some big frags. Once Stitch finally swapped to McCree though, it was all Titans. Jjanu was the highlight with an incredibly clever play. He killed GodsB near the raised healthpack at the top of the stairs. Then he faked leaving to open space for a Rez, but was actually circling back to boop the Mercy off the map. By a stroke of luck, he also knocked off Adora, which made it easy to solo GodsB for a triple kill. I’d been concerned about a new meta with more DPS, but the Titans reacted with aplomb and took the map easily.

Titans 1 :  Spark 0

Map 2: Hanamura

With the change in map order, next up was a 2CP map. The Spark again went for a triple DPS, to which Vancouver ran a quad DPS. This was the first instance where clearly the Titans didn’t particularly respect their opponents–we saw Bumper try his hand at Hanzo again–but the team did care enough to swap to a real comp, upon which Twilight hit some incredible sleep darts and opened the point for his team. On B, the Spark used an Orisa/Bastion bunker, but a well-executed rotation from the Titans pushed them utterly out of position, and the unconstructed bunker turned into easy pickings.

Hangzhou were facing Vancouver’s 4:10 timebank, and went for a Reinhardt-based 3/3 against Vancouver’s Winston 3/3. In a head-to-head matchup, the Rein version was favored, but Vancouver drained a good amount of time and nearly guaranteed a superior timebank for the next round. Of course, the most superior timebank is where you force your opponents into overtime, and that was clearly the goal. The Spark lost neutral fights constantly, which meant they built their ults with agonizing slowness. They did convert their ult bank into a fight victory, but it had taken nearly 5 minutes to do so, and Vancouver were able to stall until OT to guarantee at least a draw.

In reality, it was guaranteeing a win. Hangzhou again ran their triple DPS, which Monte described as “the perfect composition to play Rein GOATS into.” Vancouver, the most adept team in the world at running a Rein 3/3, gladly took the offer, walked onto the point, and just kind of stood there while the Spark buzzed harmlessly around them.

Titans 2 : Spark 0

Map 3: King’s Row

The Titans took the defensive side first, and things actually didn’t go too well. Haksal was unlucky to die as a result of random poke, and Hangzhou were able to leverage that single pick into a completion of the entire map in strikingly quick time. The Titans did themselves no favors here: they continually committed half-measures of ultimates, seemingly saying “this time we’ll use a couple and manage to stabilize,” but that stability never actually materialized.

But we’ve seen this story before. During the Stage 1 Playoffs, the Titans twice gave up rather quick completions of Rialto, only to respond with world-record times that instantly flipped the complexion of the map. Once again, Vancouver responded with a record-setting attack phase. The Titans played so aggressively that Hangzhou was never able to use their EMP effectively, and they never used Earthshatter or Graviton Surge at all–everyone else on the team was dead too quickly to pull it off.

The Titans did still have to best the Spark in the second round, but after their attack run it seemed like a foregone conclusion that they’d be able to do so. Haksal was a terror on Brigitte, Twilight hit incredible biotic grenades, and the Titans made holding strong for 4 minutes look easy.

Vancouver’s attack was the part of the match everyone is talking about. Having not even given up a single tick, the Titans had already won the series, but a simple take wouldn’t suffice. Instead, they ran a triple DPS which featured Haksal getting a Nanoblade and Bumper showcasing his, uh, incredible Pharah. It was silly, it was fun, it of course didn’t work (although the blade was far closer than it had any right to be) and finally they swapped to a real composition and won handily.

Titans 3 : Spark 0

Map 4: Gibraltar

I’m not sure what to think of this map. On the one hand, Vancouver wasn’t able to get the completion, and it did look as if they might even lose it at certain points. On the other hand, after the utter beatdown of the first 3 maps, I found myself unengaged and ready for the series to just be over. And that’s as a viewer, someone who can just passively watch the series. For the players, who have to expend energy to play well, this sort of anticlimax must be a frustrating requirement.

It wasn’t as if anything was particularly wrong about the Titans’ play. They got within meters of the end of the map, pulled off some good plays, won their share of fights. But on the attack, things were just not as clean as on the other maps. It’s really the accumulation of some little things. Rapel came in to replace Twilight, and while he’s definitely a strong player, he remains the backup option. Stitch on Zarya played admirably, but is not a natural star on the hero like Seominsoo. Bumper’s style of Winston works well when he can find a solo target, but he struggles when engaging into a full 6. All of that together meant the Titans barely failed to complete the map, for the first time putting them in a position where they could lose a map.

Even against a lesser caliber of Titans play, the Spark struggled. Their only saving plays were big self-destructs from Ria, which uncharacteristically were not countered by Slime’s Sound Barrier. Those got them nearly to the box of victory, but the Titans rallied both metaphorically and literally around Haksal, and Hangzhou wasn’t able to break through.


Titans 4 : Spark 0

Player of the Match

The new stage seems to have brought at least a bit of a change in terms of hero selection. With 3/3 remaining dominant, most members of the Titans have been able to play the same things as before, but one player spent the game playing two different heroes at the very highest level, leading the team to victory.

Twilight’s biotic grenades were out of this world, and he remains a beast on Zenyatta.

Support is an often glory-less position: if you do well, it makes the rest of your team look great, and if you do poorly, everything falls apart and it’s your fault. There isn’t a ton of room for star-caliber play, and yet Twilight manages to do it anyway. Every time he tosses out a nade, it either covers his whole team, or engulfs the enemy team in a heal-less purple poison that makes them easy kills for his teammates. He finds sleep darts that win fights automatically–I’m thinking here of the time he somehow slept Sasin on Pharah to create a free kill–and he even finds pickoffs of his own, reminding the opponents that Ana’s biotic rifle can do damage as well as heal. I’ve already written about his brilliant Zenyatta play, which was most notable during the King’s Row speedrun, and he even brought out a Moira during the second round of Hanamura attack.

Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention his play on Mercy, which was good but OBVIOUSLY not up to the level of Bumper, the PHARAH GOD. Sometimes you just get that one-trick on your team and take that invisible role helping them pop off, which is of course exactly what happened in this match. I’ll give Bumper an honorary mention for Player of the Match, but I won’t let him win because, you know, we’re all so tired of seeing “Bumper killed the whole enemy team, plus the observers, plus the casters, plus both teams that were playing in the previous match” that I want to share the love, you know?

Titans vs. Charge Postgame (Again)

Facing off against one of the only teams to make them sweat, Vancouver calmly dispatched Guangzhou with a 4-0 victory. How much was due to having a real counter to multi-DPS compositions versus just being better is debatable, but hey: at least we’re officially #1!

Map 1: Ilios

I was excited for this match because I thought it would present an opportunity for Vancouver to practice against the multi-DPS style that Chengdu had use to such good effect. Immediately on Ruins, I was not disappointed. Guangzhou ran Tracer/Sombra/Widow with a Hammond as main tank, and it seemed the counter comp was once again swapping Seominsoo onto McCree instead of Zarya. Sadly, outside of one flashbang onto Hotba’s Tracer that allowed a brief capture, the composition was an abject failure. Vancouver essentially couldn’t even approach the point and were easily thwarted. For Well, the Titans tried an Orisa/McCree setup and got first cap against a Winston 3/3, and they built all the way to 99% before ceding the point. The Titans built ults and took control of a fight around 75%, and while the Charge stalled to 96% the Titans won in reasonably comfortable fashion. That brought it all down to Lighthouse, where Twilight came out on a Moira for some reason. Swapping him to Zen meant Guangzhou got better starting position and capped first, but the swap was clearly the right move. Twilight, along with Bumper and Seominsoo, proceeded to tear the Charge apart and wrest control after only 20%, and from there it was the Twilight show. All in one fight he killed Happy, used trans to save Bumper, melee killed Chara, solo killed Rio, and long-range dinked Shu. Vancouver won 100%-20%, giving them a series lead.

Titans 1 : Charge 0

Map 2: Numbani

The Charge brought in Kyb as a replacement for Eileen, I believe to use his greater skill as a Brigitte player (while Eileen’s superior Sombra is more relevant on control maps). Guangzhou were first to defend and managed to pop Jjanu out of mech, but Vancouver rotated brilliantly so that he could bunny blaster his way back to a suit. Following their usual M.O. the Titans immediately had another player die first when Bumper found himself trapped in the hotel room with Rio and Happy, but Seominsoo’s high charge and a key trans from Twilight gave them the strength to fight back and take the point. Stopped despite using lots of ults at the gate to Point B, the Titans played good positional Overwatch to force Guangzhou out of position, quickly built a new set of ults, and won another resounding victory. On Point C, Charge held too far forward, were caught in a grav, and Bumper pinned Rio on the very last defense to guarantee the map completion with about 13 seconds left.

On defense, the Titans were confronted with another triple DPS, this team featuring a Pharmercy from Kyb and Chara. With no long-range damage at all, the Titans were forced to just play in alcoves. They delayed quite well, but eventually Happy (on Sombra) built an EMP and with no resources, Vancouver was wiped. The Pharah continued her reign of terror until the gate of Point B, where the Titans countered an EMP and forced Guangzhou into a series of increasingly-more-standard 3/3s, while the Seominsoo stayed on Sombra and played quite well. His coordination with Bumper on an EMP-into-Shatter was sublime, and the Titans managed the unusual Point B hold to extend the lead going into halftime.

Titans 2 : Charge 0

Map 3: Volskaya

With their stage playoff berth hanging in the balance, the Charge brought Eileen back in to play Brigitte. Their dreams of a reverse sweep died a quick and painful death when he was picked first and the Charge failed to clear out with sufficient haste. That let the Titans chase down staggered enemies while running onto Point B, and they just barely missed out on setting a new competitive Volskaya record with a 6:26 timebank.

Considering what we’d seen in the series thus far, that pretty much guaranteed the win. Guangzhou again tried lots of DPS and Happy even picked Slime first, but the Titans traded back for Rio and in the end it took 2 minutes for the Charge to cap Point A. Forced into a 3/3 mirror on B, they were rebuffed time and time again, and their 5 minutes dwindled to overtime before they finally seemed to gain purchase on the point. It wouldn’t have mattered, since an OT capture meant a draw and thus had already delivered the victory to Vancouver, but in any case the Titans used ults and closer respawns to cut down the members of Charge on the point and seal the victory then and there.

Titans 3 : Charge 0

Map 4: Dorado

With a 7-0 record guaranteed, the only thing left to play for was the bragging rights of a #1 ranking, which Vancouver could take with a victory in this final map. Kyb returned to the lineup because apparently the Guangzhou Brigitte seat is a merry-go-round with two seats, but the Titans did not bring in Stitch or Rapel. This, I suspect, was because they wanted their current starting roster present for the great Haksal-back-on-DPS experiment. This was another response to the Charge’s ubiquitous triple DPS composition, and I think paid the most dividends.

Haksal started on Pharah, immediately saw Happy on widow, and switched to Genji for the rarely-seen 2/2/2 with Seominsoo on Sombra and Haksal on Genji. Were it not for a clutch nano-Tracer from Shu, Titans would have gained the first checkpoint on their first push; instead, it took one extra.

Then came time for the Haksal nanoblade. How many kills could he get? The answer was 0, but in the best way possible. On drawing his blade, Chara booped him away, but Haksal was ready with the dash. Next, Chara used a solo sound barrier to prevent his own death, but even that was worn through quickly with two robotic slashes. What remained? Well, a life-saving nanoboost from Shu! Chara barely escaped with his life, but the use of two key support ults spoke to the respect that a Haksal blade commands.

The next nanoblade didn’t go as well, since Haksal had been caught in an EMP and couldn’t use it even though Twilight gave him nano, but he just used it vanilla and got two kills, bringing the cart to the edge of Point C. One final blade, this time successfully with nano, and the full completion was achieved.

On defense, the Titans went for the exact same composition, and got to spend some time spawncamping before a big EMP forced them to give up Point A. On Point B, the Titans finally acknowledged the current meta and swapped to 3/3. From that point it was more of what we’d seen all match: the Titans are just better at this than Guangzhou, and as a result it didn’t particularly matter how the Charge took fights.


Titans 4 : Charge 0

Player of the Match

Last week I mentioned that, despite a rough game against Chengdu, one player had kept up the same high level of performance. This week he was much the same, except with a strong-performing team around him the plays were of even higher caliber.

Twilight defines a game-changing flex support.

We were lucky enough to see lots of both Ana and Zen play from Twilight in this match, and one of the things that stands out is how he manages to play both at a supremely high level. His Zen shows up constantly in the killfeed, either getting the first pick or bulldozing through the middle of a chaotic fight and firmly entrenching the dominance of the Titans. His Ana keeps everyone alive, builds nano crazy quickly, and finds the right targets for sleep darts and bio nades. I think the ultimate tribute is what he enables, because the casters aren’t wrong: if Bumper were on another team, he’d be feeding his brains out. But with the Titans, he doesn’t, and that’s a credit to Twilight, the only support nutty enough to keep him alive no matter what nonsense he decides to pull.

Arriving for Season 2 – Prepare for Battle!

With mere days away from the moment we have all been waiting for, when our Titans are facing familiar rivals on Saturday, I have decided to make one last pitch to those who’ve just arrived to the fray or are still on the fence and make a short introduction to our Vancouver Titans.

Even prior to the inaugural season of the Overwatch League not many teams could claim the same branding awareness and following as RunAway. A plucky, tightly budgeted but closely-knit group of talented players clad in pink sweaters and led by two well known streamers, the power couple – Runner and Flowervin. The journey towards the big leagues was not a smooth one for this team however… Coming close to, but not winning the championship was a recurring theme for RunAway and finally when OWL season 1 was coming near, no one was willing to sign the whole roster as a team like some of their rivals were.

With the failures of not making the Overwatch League, not winning Apex, not getting a proper sponsorship again and Runner having to leave for his Mandatory military service, It looked like the end for RunAway. But with Flowervin taking the reigns, and the crazy support of their fanbase (seriously, a fan donated a washing machine) the team… no, the family decided to have another go at it in Contenders.

Finally, after a crazy 8 map finals win over KongDoo Panthera, in what many consider to be the best series of Overwatch ever played… RunAway were finally crowned as number one. The tears from Flowervin and the players flowed as the redeeming pink confetti was falling on the stage. Finally, the financial sacrifice, the commitment to the team, the resilience to push through and finally get the long awaited championship, had all paid off.

As season 2 expansions rushed in to fill out their rosters to compete with the now-1 year “veterans” of OWL, not many were as coveted as the Tier 2 champions of the best region. The only question was whether they will be signed together as a team like they had always dreamed of. Rumblings from the Pacific North West soon came… that indeed they were.

Finally, in one of the final roster reveals for season 2, on December 1st, the rumors were finally confirmed: RunAway is in the Overwatch League! The whole team, now clad in the Cascadian blue, green and white and will be henceforth known as the VANCOUVER TITANS. The magnificent snowmen are finally here and are ready to compete on the big stage. Not unfamiliar with adversity and fueled by the desire to prove those who overlooked them wrong, we can expect the Titans to come out strong, fresh out of the gates. With existing synergy, a meta-proof roster and a chip on their shoulders you can expect the Vancouver Titans to be a team to be reckoned with, more so than any other expansion, one that could even rival the top dogs in OWL.

Can Haksal who’s been hailed as a Genji prodigy from the age of 15 live up to the promise? Can Stitch go toe to toe with OWL’s insane hitscans like Carpe, Pine and Surefour? Can BUMPER keep up his ridiculous streak of adapting and improving in any meta or role? Can SLIMETwilight and RAPEL live up to the hype of being hailed as the best support line outside OWL? Can JJANU keep up with the ridiculous talents at the D.va role? Can Hooreg redeem his poor play in season 1 and remain consistent? Can SeoMinSoo prove that he is a top 5 flex player in the world and carry again in the clutch? Can the Vancouver Titans recreate the magic without the pink? Without Flowervin? Only time will tell.

TITANS 화이팅!!

Courtesy of the Vancouver Titans

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